You had a successful ICO. Now what?

By Tristan Tarpley for his Medium

Now you have capital you can’t afford to waste.

There is a common myth that starting something is the hardest part. Starting is easy. Growing something is hard. Finishing something is the hardest.

Allow me to backtrack for a moment…CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR SUCCESSFUL ICO!

Okay. I’m done.

Now the real work begins. You need users. You need people creating transactions on your platform. You need investors to keep buying coins. You need people to care when you publish something.

If your startup died, you need people to show up to the funeral.

Ask yourself the following 3 questions:

1. “Am I relying on the blockchain technology to sell for me?”

Whether your users are highly technical or not, you need to communicate the value proposition independent of the underlying technology.

The majority of consumers don’t buy Teslas because they’re electric. They buy them because they’re badass cars.

The majority of consumers don’t care about Grid+ because it uses the Ethereum blockchain to allocate and resell energy. They care about Grid+ because it will save them 40% on their energy bill.

How do you communicate your value proposition independent of the underlying tech?

2. “Do my users need to be techies to use my platform, or can they be average Joes?”

If both: You’re wrong. If everybody is your customer, then nobody is your customer.

If the former: How do you convince them that they need the hole you drill, rather than the drill you use to drill it? Tech changes. Platforms change. People don’t buy your tech. They buy the value it brings them.

If the latter: Can you describe what you do for a living to your grandma? If you can’t, then you need to work on the story a little bit more. If you’re sitting right next to your Grandma (or anyone, for that matter), and they have the slightest bit of trouble understanding your value proposition, how do you expect users that you are not sitting with you to understand your value proposition?

“If you can’t explain something simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” — Albert Einstein…probably

3. Have you created a promotion plan?

Here are some “plans” that don’t work:

  • “We’re going to go viral”
  • “We’re going to use social media” (social media is a tool, not a strategy on its own)
  • “We’re going to grow organically” (this is usually used as an excuse for not spending money on marketing. Organic ≠ free. Those organic bananas at Whole Foods are healthier, more sustainable, and better for the environment, but they’re certainly not cheaper).

How are you covering all 4 stages of the customer journey?

  • Awareness
  • Attention
  • Trust
  • Sale

Every user will go through all of these stages, sometimes multiple times. I’m aware of this guy next to me at this coffee shop. I’m not paying attention to him.

I pay attention to the cashier when I’m ordering. I don’t necessarily trust them just yet.

trust my best friends. They haven’t made money off of me.

I don’t need to explain a sale.

Don’t try and skip from “awareness” to “sale”. Nobody knows you yet. That’s like trying to go to 3rd base before you pick somebody up for your first date.

How will you be leading your users through all 4 stages of the journey through value, rather than trying to push them through. People will buy your product or service when they are ready, not when you are ready.

I founded Influenc(r) as a marketing accelerator for mid, to late, stage startups in the Blockchain space. I bought BTC at $200, ETH at $7, and my business partner bought ETH in ICO. We’ve been in this space for a little bit now.

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